(Plate 244)


Runyon's Huaco

Northern Mexico and southeastern Texas



Runyonia* longiflora Rose, gen. et sp. nov.

In the John Torrey Herbarium, now kept in the New York Botanical Garden, is a plant collected in northern Mexico in 1853 by Arthur Schott while connected with the first Mexican Boundary Survey. So far as we have been able to learn this plant has not since been reported, although it is now 70 years since Schott found it. In 1921 Robert Runyon, a very keen collector, sent from Brownsville, Texas, to Washington and the New York Botanical Garden several collections of Manfreda-like plants, one of which flowered the same year and proved to be this long-forgotten plant of Schott's. In its roots, leaves, and habit it greatly resembles Manfreda, that little genus of herbaceous plants which for many years has been referred to Agave. It has, however, a very slender elongate flower-tube, red flowers, and sessile anthers, attached at the top of the flower-tube. We believe that it is a distinct genus which we would place between Manfreda and Pseudobravoa. This very beautiful little plant is named for Mr. Runyon, who has collected many interesting plants.

Runyon's huaco is bulbose with a short thick rootstock and a cluster of fleshy roots, resembling very much the tuberose or Polyanthes. The basal leaves are five to seven, spreading, thick, green, mottled with purple, linear, four to eight inches long, with serrulate margins. The flowering stem is twelve to thirty inches long, slender, greenish purple, erect; the stem-leaves are few, the upper ones short and bract-like. There are five to twelve sessile, brick-red flowers; the perianth-tube is slender, one and one-half inches long; the six segments are oblong and spreading; there are six sessile anthers; the single style is included. The fruit is nearly globular, one and one-half inches in diameter, and capped by the withering perianth; the numerous seeds are black.

J. N. Rose

EXPLANATION OF PLATE. Fig. 1.—Base of plant. Fig. 2.—Upper part of flowering stem, with inflorescence. Fig. 3.—Flower, with perianth-tube split open. Fig. 4.—Fruit. Fig. 5.—Seed.


*) Runyonia gen. nov.

Stem bulbous, crowning a short thick rootstock; roots thickened, fleshy, in clusters; basal leaves linear, elongate, spotted; stem-leaves 2 or 3, small, bract-like; flowering stem slender, simple, terminated by a very open spike; flowers solitary in the axils of small bracts; perianth slender, salverform, greenish white at first, brick-red in age; stamens 6; anthers sessile, inserted at the top of the tube, exserted; fruit small, nearly globular; seeds flattened, black.

© Addisonia, 1922